A must-attend event at this year’s Cultivate is the unveiling of Modern Homesteading, an exclusive certified dealer program to fast track independent garden centers into the exploding indoor growing market.
Created by Sunlight Supply, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of year-round gardening supplies, this new program provides forward thinking IGCs a turn-key solution to take advantage of the year-round gardening movement and to meet the growing demand for organic food 365-days-a-year.
Sunlight Supply’s founder, Craig Hargreaves, wants to help IGCs be part of that year-round gardening movement. “Gardening indoors makes it easy for anyone to grow fresh year-round, no matter the season, weather or conditions, either in kitchens or classrooms,” he says. “And with the growing challenges to gardening outdoors brought on by severe climate conditions, soil infertility and pest issues, growing food indoors is not only easy, but necessary.”
Growing indoors is a fast growing trend. According to IBISWorld, a global business intelligence leader, hydroponic equipment stores had revenues of just under $1 billion in 2015 and the market is projected to continue to grow by 5 percent annually in the next five years.
This growth coupled with the demand for clean food makes indoor growing a hot growth opportunity for IGCs.
What is Modern Homesteading?
Modern Homesteading is a department within a garden center dedicated to helping people grow indoors year-round. The first department opened with an immediate and positive response at Homestead Gardens in March 2016.
Owner Brian Riddle knew he could capture the growing demand for indoor gardening, attract new customers and increase store traffic. He so clearly saw the vision presented by Sunlight Supply that he devoted 2,500 sq. ft. and dedicated staff to this new, non-seasonal department.
“Homestead Gardens is no different than any other IGC,” explains Riddle. “We have to find ways to attract those currently not shopping our stores and get current customers to shop more times per year. Being a year-round destination is our goal.”
The product assortment is a selection of the most popular indoor, hydroponic and aquaponic supplies selected specifically for the department from Sunlight’s extensive catalog of more than 5,000 SKUs.
In addition to the physical investment, Riddle hired indoor gardening expert Adrian Turner to manage the Modern Homesteading department. Turner, a graduate of Oaksterdam University, hosts weekly indoor growing classes that provide all levels of education and regularly draw current and new customers into the store.
Riddle says Homestead Gardens has always had a strong education mission and this new department is expanding everyone’s growing horizons. Saturday morning class can reach as many as 25 attendees.”
“We know how to grow in the soil in gardens and containers,” he explains. “Our new opportunity to grow is by helping beginning indoor gardeners be successful and have fun,” says Riddle.
Plans at Cultivate’16
In addition to exhibiting at booth #2032, Sunlight is hosting an invitation only meeting. Guests will learn about the new Modern Homesteading certified dealer program and learn about the national marketing platform being implemented by Garden Media Group.
“Our goal is to capture the momentum around the indoor gardening phenomena,” says Katie Dubow, creative director at Garden Media. “IGCs have the opportunity to be part of a larger movement. We’re providing people the inspiration to create, the education to be successful and the tools to participate.”
Representative from all companies will be on hand to answer questions about Modern Homesteading and the future of indoor growing.
“Cultivate is the perfect place to launch Modern Homesteading,” says Hargreaves. “AmericanHort’s yearly conference has the reputation of offering industry insiders a sneak peek into the latest trends and hot new products in the lawn and garden market, and this is
one of the hottest.”
For more information email Katie@gardenmediagroup.com.